BenQ W1000 - Physical Tour
3/14/10 - Art Feierman
BenQ W1000 Physical Appearance
The BenQ W1000 is another small DLP based entry level, 1080p resolution projector for the home. It's finished in off white, with a textured, somewhat coarse finish (anti-skid?). Easy to grip, at any rate. I'd think a finish like this is more likely on a portable business projector (it is a cross-over projector), but serves just fine here. As noted elsewhere, it is, in many ways, almost identical to the Vivitek projector, reviewed not that long ago.
The manual lens is recessed, and offset to the left, looking from the rear of the W1000 projector, Next to the lens is the front infra-red sensor for the remote control. A push button drop down foot control is located just off center, and controls the single front foot. For better leveling, the right rear foot is also adjustable, via typical screw thread adjustment.
Venting is on the side. Control panel is on the top. Lamp door is on the bottom, and you will almost certainly need to remove the W1000 projector from a ceiling mount when its time to change the lamp out.
All inputs are on the rear. Details are below!
W1000 Projector - Control Panel
The control panel is located toward the back of the top, of the BenQ W1000 projector. It is straight back from the lens and lens controls. It's a pretty straight forward arrangement though different button sizes or spacing is helpful.
The W1000 has a power switch at the top, right below three indicator lights. Below the power is the menu button.
In the top right corner is the Auto setup button
Lower right corner has Source selection, and lower left is Blank, a video mute.
The rest of the buttons make up the navigation system for the menus. The arrow keys are arranged in a diamond shape, with an Enter button in the center.
BenQ W1000 Inputs and Outputs
The W1000 projector comes with a pretty standard set of inputs and connectors. Like most projectors it has two HDMI 1.3 inputs, a component video input (3 color coded RCA jacks), S-Video, Composite video and even a computer input. There's an RS-232 for service support, and a USB port.
Because the W1000 has its own small speaker, facing rear, there are two sets of stereo inputs, and a stereo output. That's handy of you want to set up quickly without hi-fi. It also shows the W1000's cross-breeding as a business projector.
The input panel of the W1000 is virtually identical to the Vivitek H1080FD. Everything is even in the same place. Only Vivitek also offers a 12volt screen trigger, and an additional anti-theft bar. Check this out. Immediately below, the BenQ, and for fun, right below it, the Vivitek:
BenQ W1000 Menus
Again, the BenQ W1000 projector's kinship with the Vivitek H1080FD projector is obvious. The menus look only slightly different (fonts, borders), and most things are in exactly the same place as on the Vivitek, but not everything. Overall, the menus, are reasonably well laid out. Just about all the image controls are found on the first two menus, as is typical. The lamp brightness control is on the second last menu.
Images to come.
BenQ W1000 Remote Control
It's black, the backlit buttons are fairly bright (red). Not as easy to read though, as the Vivitek's blue lights. Still, that's not a big deal. It's much nicer than the Optoma HD20 with its blindingly bright blue light. With the Optoma, I couldn't even make subtle adjustments to the image without holding the remote behind me, as the remote's light was so bright, I couldn't see what I was doing. That isn't an issue with the BenQ remote control.
The remote control's range is pretty good, though not exceptional. I can get a good bounce off my front wall and screen - 11 feet to the front, and 16 back to the projector, without too much difficulty. Probably more than half of the remotes I work with have less range than this one.
The W1000 remote control itself, is well laid out. Separate Off and On buttons are at the top. Next comes 6 direct input buttons for your sources, including two HDMI buttons.
Below that, the usual four navigation buttons, with a centered Enter button. And right below those, is the small Menu button (bottom left) and across from it, the Aspect Ratio button.
The lower half of the remote has five rows of three buttons (with good spacing, I must note). The first row provides direct access to the three User modes. The next two rows are mostly direct access buttons for image controls like Contrast, Brightness, Sharpness. The last two rows have volume up and down, Freeze, Blank, (back)Light and Test (pattern).
All considered it is a very nice remote, better than most! I like it.
W1000 Lens Throw
The manual lens has a 1.2:1 zoom ratio. - typical for most DLP home theater projectors. For a 100 inch diagonal, 16:9 screen, the projector (measured from the front of the lens), can be placed as close as:
11 feet 6 inches, or as far back as:
13 feet 10 inches
I should note that the BenQ W1000's lens is apparently different from the Vivitek's in that the projector positions a little less than a foot further from the screen, with the same lens positioning (full wide-angle or full telephoto). According to BenQ, the lens also likely contributes to the brighter image of the W1000 compared to the Vivitek H1080FD.
This type of throw distance is also very typical for a DLP projector. This gives you just over 2 feet of placement flexibility for a screen of that size. Looking at a larger or smaller screen, you can calculate the distances easily from the numbers above. (A 10% larger screen - 110" diagonal would have distances 10% greater for both closest and furthest away...) Note: BenQ indicates that distances and offsets are approximate, that component variation can alter numbers by up to 5%. (5% is probably way over the top - that would be a "miss of about a half foot in the maximum or minimum distances).
W1000 Lens Shift
The W1000 lacks any adjustable lens shift. This BenQ projector has a lot of lens offset (more than the Vivitek). That means that if ceiling mounting you will be placing it above the screen surface top. For a 100" diagonal 16:9 screen, that would be almost 8 inches above (measured to the center of the lens). It also means that the projector can be placed on a table below the bottom of the screen surface (by the same amount). Obviously, the larger the screen, the more offset.
Officially the projector claims an offset of 374 mm. for a 100 inch screen. That works out to placing the center of the projector's lens just under 7.4 inches above the top of the screen surface (when ceiling mounted), or 7.4 inches below the bottom of the screen if on a table top. That's a healthy amount of lens shift, and can be a problem if you have low ceilings, and want a screen much larger than 100" diagonal.
W1000 Projector: No Anamorphic Lens
Even if the W1000 supported an anamorphic lens, spending the "big bucks" for one, for any of these entry level projectors really doesn't make much overall sense. To spend twice as much for the lens, as the projector, and probably a sled, which costs an extra $1000... You get the idea. If you want to go anamorphic, start with a better projector. You certainly could consider the $1999 Panasonic, which will emulate an anamorphic lens (within limits), and doesn't do a bad job of it. To my best guess, far less than 10% of home theaters have anamorphic screens. Most very high end home theaters ($20K plus projectors), I would suspect are using anamorphic lenses to work with a Cinemascope wide screen.